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Press Release

Texas Man Sentenced for Witness Tampering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Richard Garza, 61, of Edinburg, Texas, was sentenced on June 12, 2024, in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska for tampering with a witness. Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Garza to 66 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Garza’s release from prison, he will begin a 3-year term of supervised release.

Garza was convicted after a jury trial in October 2023, of tampering with a witness.  Evidence presented at trial showed Garza attempted to bribe a witness into testifying falsely on his behalf at his trial when both Garza and the witness were incarcerated in the Saline County Jail.  Garza used a jail text messaging system to communicate with the witness. Garza had a relative put money on the witness’ texting account, and Garza purchased various jail commissary items for the witness, at the witness’ request, such as food and clothing items.  All of this was done to get the witness to testify that Government witnesses lied about their dealings with Garza.  The witness could not truthfully testify about this, because she had no independent knowledge regarding Garza’s dealings or lack of dealings with the other witnesses.

At the time of trial, Garza was also charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, and a separate count of witness tampering.  Garza was acquitted on the second witness tampering charge, and the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the conspiracy charge.  The conspiracy charge was later dismissed.

This case was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Drug Task Force and the Saline County Sheriff’s Department.

Contact

Lecia Wright - Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney  (402) 661-3700

Updated June 14, 2024